Affordable and Clean Energy

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Alternative Energy: Sources and Future Trends

Living reference work entry


The expression “alternative energy” relates to energy sources other than “main” energy sources, usually fossil fuels, considering that there is some overlapping between the definition of “alternative energy” and the concept of “renewable energies,” such as wind, solar, hydroelectric, biomass, biogas, animal waste, geothermal, hydrogen, and marine energies. Alternative energy could refer to energy that does not come from coal, oil, natural gas, or wood.

Broadly speaking, “alternative energy” can also refer to energy conservation and efficiency, since they are complementary sources of energy insofar as they help produce less energy (Tomain and Cudahy 2004). In this sense, the concept is also referred to “alternative energy technologies,” where, for example, a wood-fired oven is replaced by a biogas-fired oven or solar cookers, or where natural gas is substituted by solar power for water heating systems (Pokharel 2003).

The expression is also used within the context of energy...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brazilian Institute for Energy Law Studies – IBDEnergia, EDP BrasilSão PauloBrazil

Section editors and affiliations

  • Luciana Londero Brandli
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Passo FundoPasso FundoBrazil